Kia Motors may want the Stinger to be the model that upholds the brand’s core values and the global shift towards EVs could push the Stinger in that direction in its next generation.
The Stinger is up for a facelift this year and is expected to offer upgrades in design and additional features. Reported sales are not favouring the Stinger, which competes with entry-level sedans from Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, and the facelift would try to turn things around. But will the Stinger still appeal as a sports saloon with the trend going towards SUVs and crossovers?
Kia’s Head of Design, Karim Habib, certainly hopes it does. Speaking to TopGear, Mr Habib has said that he hopes Stinger’s spirit stays at the core of Kia, as the company changes as a brand. He said that as the technology is moving in the direction of EVs, the concept also should evolve and the sporty, affordable and beautiful sculpture of the Stinger should live on in the brand. On the upcoming facelift, Mr Habib says that the update will bring the latest in lighting and Kia is making sure they have the best technology in lighting and the design will amplify the sportiness of the Stinger.
Now, Kia’s first fully-electric new-generation EV based on the group’s E-GMP architecture and inspired by the Imagine concept follows the SUV-crossover trend when it comes out next year. But as Kia is planning to build more cars on the dedicated electric platform, a performance-oriented fully-electric Stinger, along the lines of Porsche Taycan, does sound exciting. A sub-three second 0-to-100 km/h time, a range of 500 km and a price tag much cheaper than the Taycan could be all it takes to revive sales of Kia’s sports sedan.
The Kia Stinger in India
The Kia Stinger GT has shown potential globally and set a new benchmarks for the company in terms of performance. The likes of the Ford Mustang and the Skoda Octavia RS 245 prove there is at least one big consignment of demand per year for high-performance vehicles and sports cars in India and the government has made importing a limited number of cars (2,500 per year) easy without the need for local homologation. Globally, the Kia Stinger GT undercut all of its rivals in its pricing but still had the top of the line features. Kia have also proved their might in India and made selling cars look easy with the success of the Seltos. Add to it the fact that the Stinger was well received by the public and the media when it was showcased at the Auto Expo in 2018.
Considering these factors, a limited-run Stinger GT will be a fantastic addition to the Kia India lineup. Some media reports last year suggested that it would be launched in the Indian shores as a CKD, but with the Coronavirus lockdown affecting business, we should get an update from Kia later this year about its sportscar.